If you ever want to start a running for the prettiest city in the world, there is no doubt that Cape Town is up near the top of that list. It’s rather Auckland-like actually, from the waterfront area to all the mountains around.
The most famous moutain around here is, of course, Table Mountain, and you can take a cable car to the top if you’re feeling lazy-
Chilling at the top of Table Mountain, which is at 1,000m and surprisingly chilly from the wind-
And the views are all-around spectacular! This following picture was when I worked out the fact that my camera has a widescreen function, don’t know if you can tell a difference though…
It goes without saying that it’s not your average city where you can get a range of mountains like this just a few minutes drive from downtown. But to top it off, being British they also figured out that it would be cool to place the Cape Town botanical garden at the foot of Table Mountain, and since my mom is obsessed with flowers (I was going to write “loves” but that doesn’t cover her true feelings) we headed over.
Clearly, some of us are more interested in resting rather than checking out plants- guess our obsessions are not particularly genetic?
To be fair, I did like quite a few of the flora in the garden, such as the yellow bird of paradise plant named after Nelson Mandela (as I’ve only seen orange ones before, and yellow looks quite nice!). The flowers above, called protea, are my favorites though. Don’t they look like some sort of alien plant? They feel fuzzy on the inside too.
It should be noted that Cape Town is famous in the botanical world for being its own floral region due to the surrounding desert. What this means is you have several thousand plants that occur here and nowhere else- by comparison all of North America counts as the same region, just to give you an idea of the special plants that crop up here!
And no journey to Cape Town could be possible without coming to this place. Cape Point, one of the places out there that qualifies as “the end of the world.”
Rather dramatic, isn’t it? Though it is a common misconception that this is where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet- that’s a few km over- but this is where the warm current mixes with the cold current and what really matters in the natural world (compared to what our human naming system dictates). It’s also a really trecherous stretch of coast- for the past 400 years it is estimated that 600 ships have wrecked at or around Cape Point!
And last but not least, the scenery is pretty but no trip to Cape Point would be complete without visiting the penguin colony. These guys are called “African penguins” officially but used to be called “jackass penguins” due to the noise they make- the claim is other penguins make the braying noise and that’s why they needed to change the name, but I suspect otherwise. Either way, let it be known that it is impossible to encounter a non-cute penguin. Something about how they walk on two legs and are so immaculately dressed in tuxedos will get to you every time.